#1 Fourth rated city for real estate growth
Is there any better City in America to study Real Estate? Seattle is in the middle of a real estate boom underpinned by extraordinary growth from “new industry” companies like Amazon, Costco, Starbucks and Microsoft—not to mention other corporate traditional giants like Boeing. New commercial high rises are going up, one on the books for over 100 stories, at least 52 cranes on the horizon, and a commitment from the Mayor to build 50,000 new apartment units in the next 15 years, 20,000 of which are to be “affordable”. We have the most sustainable building in the world just completed by the Bullitt Center and many other examples of how sustainability (a core value of the program) is working in our current environment. Talented real estate leaders with an advanced degree are in demand!
#2 Association conferences and competitions
Each of our students are encouraged to participate in one or more industry associations for the access to industry leaders and cutting edge ideas that it provides. Many of these associations also have strong emerging leader programs that allow access to peers in the working environment. The program provides lodging and travel expenses to attend one national conference of your choice. In addition, there are many regional and national real estate competitions designed to give the student project experience working in teams in a competitive environment. Yes we have taken home a few trophies!
#3 Interdisciplinary environment at a top 5 in the world university
Most Real Estate programs are housed in a Business School- not Runstad…We pride ourselves on our location in the College of Built Environments- offering access to interdisciplinary opportunities in Construction Management, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning—AND Vice Versa! While the curriculum does include elective opportunities that provide opportunities to access other offerings from the University like the Evans Public Policy School, Foster School of Business and College of the Environment…We find the College of Built Environments actually provides a unique experience that bolsters both the curriculum and the experience.
#4 Peer to Peer Engagement
Whether participating in the Real Estate Club, engaging in a national competition or partnering on a class project the value of a cohort of talented professionals eager to learn, grow and make a contribution should be a consideration for every applicant. The design of the curriculum itself is attractive to a highly motivated student with a diverse set of experiences. We encourage international applicants for the perspective they can bring, a third of our applicants this year were women a trend the industry has begun to appreciate. It is clear that diversity of all kinds bring with it extraordinary synergies from the diversity of thought within a culture that values engagement.
#5 The Curriculum
The Curriculum is designed to address the fundamentals important in any real estate pursuit. However, we offer three areas of specialization or “tracks” that allow a student to go deeper in a specific area. Our tracks include finance and investment, development and Corporate Real Estate. We have shortened the time, requiring only 18 months and 60 credits and managed the scheduling to favor the working student who may want to continue working in a part time capacity. It has clearly been well received
as evidenced by a 50% increase in enrollment.
#6 Our Faculty
Our faculty are highly respected in their respective fields. Some bring industry experience others a substantial academic research portfolio—all teach! In addition, we have a strong cadre of affiliate professors who bring current and practical applications of theory to the classroom. We believe a balance between academically credentialed faculty and affiliate professors who are currently employed and engaged in their industry is a winning formula for providing both the practical and academic perspective. Both are critical, as neither is as potent without the other. All classes, regardless of teacher, engage guest lecturers to bring a one-time perspective to a particular issue. This combination of industry and academic instruction is really the secret sauce for a leading edge educational experience.
One of the unique benefits of being a Runstad Center MSRE student is the opportunity to participate in the Runstad Center Affiliate Fellows program. Each year we select two or three MSRE students to work with emerging thought leaders from different fields in the industry and faculty members from the College of Built Environments. With support from the Runstad Center Advisory Board, this diverse team selects a topic within the broad rubric of sustainability for field study anywhere in the world. The Fellows meet regularly to research their topic and plan their trip and then bring lessons learned and best practices back to the community through major presentations for industry groups and on campus as well as through blogging, magazine articles, gallery exhibitions, short films or other work products. Previous classes of Fellows have travelled to Hong Kong, Istanbul, Berlin, Columbia, and Chile/Brazil. In addition to being an incredible opportunity to experience international real estate first hand, the fellowship experience is an excellent platform to enhance your visibility in the community and build close relationships with key industry leaders.
Every MSRE student completes at least one real estate internship during their time in the program – unless they are already working in the industry and choose not to explore other industry opportunities. The Runstad Center provides vital support in helping students land internships including individual one-on-one coaching, resume document review, and networking suggestions. The Center has become a “go-to” resource for companies looking to connect with talented students and many students receive job offers from their internship sponsors. Assignments vary from corporate placements at companies like T-Mobile, PACCAR and Microsoft to development companies like Avalon Bay, Tarragon, or Prologis or asset management/investment analyst positions at companies such as Washington Capital Management, Wells Fargo, or Metzler North America. Internships can be life changing experiences and the entire Runstad Center community is on deck to ensure students have a chance to apply their real estate education to real world challenges in companies that interest them.
Real estate is fundamentally a relationship business and students are encouraged from day one to begin building a network of industry connections. In addition to participating in professional organization events and conferences, each student is assigned a young professional mentor to meet with regularly over the course of the program. Mentors are selected for their diverse backgrounds and exceptional reach into industry organizations and companies. Mentors share their own real estate knowledge and passion with students in a variety of ways including project tours, visits to entitlement hearings or community meetings, in-depth sessions to review a deal term-sheet or project pro-forma, or guest speakers from companies of interest to students. Sometimes there is beer involved and a chance to share information on industry trends and recent deals. Mentors are available to strategize with students on their internship/job search networking and to facilitate connections with target companies. If it takes a village to support students in making the leap to practicing real estate professionals, our Mentors are key members of our village!
A graduate degree can be expensive. We have tried to mitigate that in a number of ways…shortening the duration without compromising on the fundamentals, adjusting the hours so a student might still be able to work part time and providing for paid internships during the summer. Additionally, we have a scholarships available to those who qualify on financial grounds and on sheer competitiveness. Applying all these features can make the return on investment of graduate degree from the Runstad Center for Real Estate studies very high!